October is one of my favorite months. It’s definitely fall, but it’s still the warm and sunny part (there was a week in Paris when the temperature was up to the mid-70’s ). The leaves are still on the trees and there’s lots of nice colors, and it’s just a very pleasant time of the year. It’s also one of the best months for K-pop! This month there were so many good releases to fit the mellow autumn mood, but there were also some fun and upbeat surprises.
Fall is one of the best times for K-pop because pretty much everyone makes a comeback. Like September, October saw the rise of some of the most talked about boy groups – who all delivered quality music. And though there was little to no activity on the girl group front, TWICE swooped in at the very end to remind us all why they’re the princesses of K-pop. There was so much going on to like, but here’s a look at the comebacks (and one debut) that really impressed me.
The MNET Asian Music Awards are finally upon us! The week-long awards started in Vietnam this past weekend, with another show in Japan and the main event in Hong Kong. After over a month of online voting, fans all over the world are waiting to find out which K-Pop acts will come out on top. Many categories are a head-to-head battle between EXO and BTS, but there are so many other questions to answer: Will all the recent hype over BTS in the US affect an Asian awards ceremony? Will EXO manage to grab their fifth daesang for Best Album? With three comebacks each, will TWICE or Red Velvet be named the top girl group of 2017? And after enjoying years of favoritism, will any YG artists get recognized at all? This year’s definitely going to be an interesting one.
Awards season is coming, and the MNET Asian Music Awards (hereafter referred to as MAMA) is kicking things off with a bang! It’s only been two days, and my social media feeds are already filled with people discussing the nominations. As I write this, fans all over the world are diligently trying to get on MNET’s bugging website and vote for their favorites. I’m multifandom, so I’m having a really hard time choosing. Also, my computer seems to hate that site. So I thought I’d do something a little different!
I had my suspicions before, but July proved I’m heavily biased towards SM artists. It’s more of a “I like their music/style” thing rather than a “SM is the best/blindly following the company” thing, but there it is. I always try to be diverse, since there are so many other groups out there to love. But when Red Velvet and EXO both had comebacks this month, my preferences were clear. “Red Flavor” and “Ko Ko Bop” were by far my most played songs, and I was way more enthusiastic about them than anyone else. But at the same time, I do think there were several groups that had quality music.
Oh my gosh, May feels like forever ago. K-pop moves so darn fast. There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the beginning (because of elections?), but the last week brought a whole rush of comebacks that threw me off schedule. I considered skipping this post altogether because it’s been so long, but ultimately my
perfectionism need to be consistent won out. Plus there were a lot of great songs this month. May may not have had a lot of new music, but there was a lot of diversity. All of my favorite songs this month are very different in terms of sound, and I’m loving it.
Sometimes I feel like I have a love-hate relationship with Twice. I really like them, but I get frustrated because I think JYP isn’t using them to their full potential (the agency, not the person). They have catchy songs, appealing personalities, and stunning visuals – but we all know that by now. I wanted to see them try something new, and it seemed like JYP was more and more determined to stick to what works. “Signal” isn’t exactly the radical change I was hoping for, but it’s different enough from their previous hits that I’ll take it. It’s not their best song so far, but it’s super cute and pretty darn fun.
(Oops, we’re already over halfway through April….)
As I predicted, March was all about the boy groups for me. Though of course several girl groups had solid comebacks, most of my attention was consumed by favorites like Got7 and Monsta X. But no matter your preferences, there was something for everyone this month.
GOT7 has a special place in my heart because they got me into K-pop over a year ago. Though they’re not always my ultimate bias group (which changes frequently because of my fickle heart), they remain high on my list of favorites. I was really looking forward to Flight Log: Arrival, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their trilogy has had some ups and downs, but I think that “Never Ever” provides a nice conclusion.
While there were several newer groups like K.A.R.D. that had strong comebacks, February belonged to the heavy hitters. Red Velvet dominated the first half of the month, while top groups of 2016 BTS and Twice battled it out in the second. Powerhouse Taeyeon ended the month on a high note with a solid album. There was a lot going on, but there was a lot to enjoy.